The newly launched Center for Research toward Advancing Financial Technologies, or CRAFT, is supported by the first-ever National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to create an industry-university cooperative research center devoted specifically to financial technology and science.
A partnership with Stevens Institute of Technology, CRAFT underscores the nation’s strategic investment in managing risks and unintended consequences of the emerging – and yet unknown – challenges facing the high-tech financial services industry.
Together, Rensselaer and Stevens will bring together industry and academic partners, and policymakers involved in high-impact research efforts, to conduct research that is relevant for industry and has potential for commercialization.
Already, 18 global financial services organizations have pledged their support for CRAFT. As advanced technologies are rapidly shaping financial services and systems and impacting society at large, commitment from industry partners and policymakers will help drive innovation in fintech, address the challenges impacting the finance industry, and help develop a diverse, exceptionally skilled high-tech workforce.
Research areas of focus include cybersecurity; high-frequency automated markets; technology risk and regulation; commercialization; and applications of blockchain, quantum computing, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. CRAFT will focus on how to both address and mitigate these challenges as the financial services industry continues its rapid transformation into the high-tech, big data world. Much of the work on the research projects is carried out by students, providing an essential training ground for the future fintech workforce.